Saturday, August 25, 2007

There's nothing like good fiction to leave you feeling refreshed, invigorated, and Zestfully clean. After flooding my insides with non-fiction (memoirs- The Tender Bar, The Sex Lives of Cannibals (super good), death- Spooks and Stiffs (same author both), godlessness- God is Not Great (this guy is so ANGRY), and other stuff (Kurt Vonnegut interviews), I slowly made my way back.

I almost fell off the wagon when I tried reading some pop-lit (Zig Zag- by a Spanish author), I thought OK, let's support my Latino brother, I dove right into the book. Good idea, physics and time travel and mysteries of nature, ok so far so good, then that whole the heroine is not only a moody genius, she is Sophia Loren/Salma Hayek/Marilyn Monroe and the men in her life are gorgeous assholes. I almost puked up my lunch. Luckily, a level headed coworker took the book from me and turned it back in.

Now the Good stuff:

This is what I'm reading now and it makes me happy.

Slaughter House Five by Kurt Vonnegut
- I'm totally digging this. I can appreciate his writing now after I've read his interviews. He was really scared by Dresden even if he doesn't say it outright, and if it wasn't for Dresden he would have be scarred by something else. Then he made this personal peace with his life that didn't make sense to anyone but himself. Much like Billy Pilgrim.

The Name of the World by Denis Johnson
- I'm about 15 pages in and his writing is so unobtrusive as to really let you into the story. He's doing this thing with the protagonist where the protagonist wants you to think he's this walking dead zombie but really he's absorbing so much of his surroundings, really engaging his senses, trying to make sense of his life, that this guy really isn't dead, just acting like it.

Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier- Cold Mountain the book, not movie, really drew in with its Odyssey-like adventure. I really enjoyed the language and the story. So I'm now about 1/4 of the way through Thirteen Moons and Frazier hasn't lost his touch. He has a really great talent for story telling. So far we have a boy who is orphaned an then sold to a merchant by his aunt and uncle and sent into the wilderness to manage a trading post. Along the way his horse is stolen, he meets the love of his life, and he befriends an Indian who is wise to the old ways, but unwise and unlucky when it comes to women. Really good writing so far.

And finally, I'm reading Last Orders by Graham Swift- This is a small story really- four men take a drive through England to spread the ashes of one of their buddies in the ocean. It's all dialogue and the tension between the men and the ashes of their friend, as they're confined to the small space of the car is stifling. You feel uncomfortable right along with them. The back story, as they become pensive, releases tiny secrets and almost secrets and things that should be thought but not said, and you realize that just because these characters live on the other side of the ocean, they're alot like you and me. I do have to admit, this one isn't so easy to read unless you're familiar with working class, pubster English. The challenge is part of the fun.

1 comment:

Neil Kelly said...

well read and multi-published. I smell academia.

make your way to the writer's meeting at the bucket, 7pm on Wed. I'll pick you up or give you a ride back if need be.